Calgary, Alberta was one of our most inspiring stops. Thank you to Cory for helping us secure a spot for our gathering, and our hosts Todd and Scott for taking AMAZING care of us!!! Their house was a sanctuary for us for three nights, and was opened for other observers to come and hang out post meet and greet. It was a casual BBQ with smokies (Canadian for hot dogs) and plenty of great conversations to be shared and wine to be had!
"The best part is seeing how people transition from their normal, guarded, attitude toward discussing these topics, to an open and excited approach to sharing thoughts and observations with like-minded people." -Ben
Sacha and Julie, pictured below exchanging phone numbers, came up with a GREAT idea to have a monthly 0bservers Potluck to keep everyone connected and stay in touch - AWESOME! It turned out to be quite the party, lasting until 2:30A (of course we were in bed before 9P)!
We ended up staying another day in Calgary- Hope fell incredibly ill. I'll spare you the fine details, but sleep completely eluded us and it was incredibly stressful. Thanks Scott for taking us to the animal ER!
We drove to Kamloops, BC on the 1st, keeping a watchful eye on Hope as we got ready for events. It was an 8+ hour drive, with plenty of stops throughout for the dogs. There were parts of the drive that were not easy - mountain passes, steep grades, runaway lanes for heavy vehicles whose brakes have failed, etc. Glad we don't have to do that again- there were definitely parts on the road where we just held our breath until it was clear!
Our host Lisa was very kind and took great care of us - including having plain rice and boiled chicken for the dogs... they were pretty pleased. The lecture at Thompson Rivers went very well, with sponsors and folks from the area coming out to hear Ben speak. Canadians are just awesome, and I am not being biased because I was born there! :) Thank you to Colin of TRU for hosting us! We had a potluck dinner with some members of the Kamloops Astronomical Society, with a small presentation the following evening.
Surrey, BC was our next stop- it was a beautiful day to share sunspots! Hope had improved greatly although we hadn't caught up on sleep yet. Our event took place at Bear Creek Park- we even had some folks from the RCMP come out to chat and ask questions. Ben is always impressed to see students with a love of science, and Bryan was one of the younger observers (15) that came out to support us.
Eleven days, twenty six+ hours of driving and 1500+ miles later... it was finally time to return back to the US. The border crossing was painless, and as Ben said, it was great to be "back in the land of great internet and RV friendly gas stations!"
We had a great time in Canada, and hope to be back again soon. Canadians are just awesome!
Our next blog post coming out in the next few days will feature information on the most recent FOTW call that featured Jshwa Hale for those that have been curious! Have a great week!
Our blog covers the journey as we roll along - sharing stories of people we've met and engaged with, places we've seen, the discourse between a couple with two animals sharing <300 sq ft of moving living space, and more!